Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Bible League Quarterly: "This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!"
Someone recently gave me an anonymous gift subscription to Bible League Quarterly, the magazine of the Bible League Trust, and I got the first two issues of 2016 in the mail from the UK this week. I had subscribed a few years ago but had let it lapse. The BLQ is a gem, and I am thankful to my benefactor for the opportunity to read it again.
The opening article in the January-March 2016 issue from editor John Thackway is a reflection on 1 Samuel 27:1 titled “David’s Fainting Fit.” The title reminded me of the recent post here from Bunyan. Thackway makes skilful application of David’s spiritual state to that of his readers:
Gospel ministers can suffer this “fainting fit,” and sink into deep dejection. Some can hardly continue, and some even leave the pastorate. Many Christians have sunk terribly low or turned aside from the right way. It may be, dear reader, that you find yourself on the brink of this. Or maybe you have already come to where David was and are now ensnared in the consequences.
David’s “fainting fit” is on record here for our admonition and comfort. Let us follow the account of what happened and seek to apply it to ourselves (p. 324).
I was also struck by this vivid illustration on how the Lord sovereignly uses our circumstances, even troubled ones, to grow us in godliness:
The story is told of a little girl walking in a garden who noticed a particularly beautiful flower. She admired its fragrance. “It is so pretty!” she exclaimed. Then her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew. “This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!” she cried. So she pulled it up by its roots and ran to the tap to wash away the soil. It wasn’t long until the flower wilted and died. When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, “You have destroyed my finest plant!” “I’m sorry,” she said, “but I didn’t like it in that dirt.” The gardener replied, “I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower.” And so it is in our God-appointed circumstances that, by God’s grace, we produce the beauty of Christian character and the fragrance of Christ (pp. 322-323).